The trend toward pre-graduation professional work experience for Australian young planners: Essential experience or essentially exploitation

Grant-Smith, Deanna & McDonald, Paula K. (2016) The trend toward pre-graduation professional work experience for Australian young planners: Essential experience or essentially exploitation. Australian Planner, 53(2), pp. 65-72.

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This paper explores the changing employment expectations that frame the early professional work experiences of young planners in Australia. In particular, it considers the rising popularity of pre-graduation professional work experience as a precursor to formal entry into the workforce as a practising planner. This shift is being driven in part by employer expectations that graduates will already have ‘real world’ and relevant work experience. However, an equally significant driver appears to be a growing desire for early career and graduate planners to find ways to distinguish themselves from their peers in an increasingly tight labour market. Using data from an ongoing research project into the formative work experiences of young people this paper describes the three main types of pre-graduation professional work experience undertaken by young planners. It highlights the potential challenges and benefits of pre-graduation work experience from a legal, social and ethical perspective as well as from the perspective of young planners themselves. The paper concludes by reflecting on the role of the planning profession – employers, peak bodies and planning educators – in managing the tensions between producing ‘work ready’ graduates and safeguarding the employment conditions of early career planning professionals.

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ID Code: 89738
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Education-to-employment Transitions, Internships, Practicum, Unpaid Work, Young Planners, HERN
DOI: 10.1080/07293682.2015.1103762
ISSN: 2150-6841
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Business and Management not elsewhere classified (150399)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Deposited On: 02 Nov 2015 22:57
Last Modified: 05 May 2016 05:31

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